The President's Middle East Playbook

Barack Obama has achieved the impossible: He has managed to bring together secular Israelis and ultra-Orthodox Jews in a heated campaign against him. His administration's determination to use an Israeli housing construction project in Northern Jerusalem as the pretext for a diplomatic crisis has set him on a collision course not just with Israelis of all stripes, but even with American Jews, who are growing increasingly apprehensive of just where this president intends to lead them.  Did he anticipate this? No one can know for sure. But his determination to face down Benjamin Netanyahu and force him to cancel the permit for 1,600 units in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem has already backfired. Coming right at the opening of the AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C. this weekend, Obama is about to become the first post-war Democratic president whose name may be greeted with derision by a convocation of Jews. Almost anyone who lives in Jerusalem knows that the...(Read Full Article)